In a recent blog post for The FinTech Daily, pondered why market data vendors such as Nasdaq and Refinitiv are so late to the cloud game.
"First, it seems that cloud adoption of market data directly from the source is about 2-3 years old. Fintech Xignite always comes to my mind when I think of the early disruption in this market as a classic example of a Thomson Reuters disruptor (now Refinitiv). Xignite – a wind intensifying the Fintech fireworks was one of my blog posts during my first quarter writing on Daily Fintech in May 2015! I am getting close to 270 blog posts as we speak."
This past week Nasdaq announced that they have partnered with AWS to offer real-time market data via the cloud, something that Xignite has been running on AWS for more than a decade! And only in late 2018, did Refinitiv start offering historical tick data to its clients via the cloud in partnership with Google. So why weren't exchanges and data vendors already doing this? Because it is not easy!
The vast majority of cloud-based market data offerings are using large, well-known cloud providers like AWS. With hundreds of data centers around the world, each running 50,000 servers or more, the ability to scale would appear to be a given. However, AWS’s massive scale only benefits the end-user if the application in use is built to fully leverage the cloud. As any developer will tell you, building software to run in a dedicated data center on a predefined set of servers is a dramatically different proposition than writing for the cloud. Platforms natively built to run in the cloud have a clear advantage here, as the legacy single data mindset is nowhere to be found. We believe that utilizing a cloud environment like AWS is table stakes, unlocking the true benefits of the cloud rest solely with the market data provider itself.
The benefits of market data in the cloud are undeniable. But unlocking those benefits requires a partner with the technology and wherewithal to leverage the cloud effectively. When evaluating cloud-based market data solutions, make sure you ask your potential vendor if their applications are natively built to run in the cloud.
And a hearty "welcome to the 21st century" to the newest market data cloud players.